The capability approach developed by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has become an important new paradigm in thinking about development. However, despite its theoretical and philosophical attractiveness, it has been less easy to measure or to translate into policy. This volume addresses these issues in the context of poverty and justice. Part I offers a set of conceptual essays that debate the strength of the often misunderstood individual focus of the capability approach. Part II investigates the techniques by which we can measure and compare capabilities, and how we can integrate them into poverty comparisons and policy advice. Finally, Part III looks at how we can apply the capability approach to different regions and contexts. Written by a team of international scholars, The Capability Approach is a valuable resource for researchers and graduate students concerned with the debate over the value of the capability approach and its potential applications.Read More
Tag: Wage inequality
This book presents new theories and international empirical evidence on the state of work and employment around the world. Changes in production systems, economic conditions and regulatory conditions are posing new questions about the growing use by employers of precarious forms of work, the contradictory approaches of governments towards employment and social policy, and the ability of trade unions to improve the distribution of decent employment conditions. The book proposes a ‘new labour market segmentation approach’ for the investigation of issues of job quality, employment inequalities, and precarious work. This approach is distinctive in seeking to place the changing international patterns and experiences of labour market inequalities in the wider context of shifting gender relations, regulatory regimes and production structures.Read More
This book provides the first systematic assessment of trends in inequality in job quality in Britain in recent decades. It assesses the pattern of change drawing on the nationally representative Skills and Employment Surveys (SES) carried out at regular intervals from 1986 to 2012. These surveys collect data from workers themselves thereby providing a unique picture of trends in job quality.
The book is concerned both with wage and non-wage inequalities (focusing, in particular on skills, training, task discretion, work intensity, organizational participation, and job security), and how these inequalities relate to class, gender, contract status, unionisation, and type of employer. Amid rising wage inequality there has nevertheless been some improvement in the relative job quality experienced by women, part-time employees, and temporary workers. Yet the book reveals the remarkable persistence of major inequalities in the working conditions of other categories of employee across periods of both economic boom and crisis.
Beginning with a theoretical overview, before describing the main data series, this book examines how job quality differs between groups and across time.Read More
The U.S. labor market is the most laissez faire of any developed nation, with a weak social safety net and little government regulation compared to Europe or Japan. Some economists point to this hands-off approach as the source of America’s low unemployment and high per-capita income. But the stagnant living standards and rising economic insecurity many Americans now face take some of the luster off the U.S. model. In America Works, noted economist Richard Freeman reveals how U.S. policies have created a labor market remarkable both for its dynamism and its disparities. America Works takes readers on a grand tour of America’s exceptional labor market, comparing the economic institutions and performance of the United States to the economies of Europe and other wealthy countries. The U.S. economy has an impressive track record when it comes to job creation and productivity growth, but it isn’t so good at reducing poverty or raising the wages of the average worker. Despite huge gains in productivity, most Americans are hardly better off than they were a generation ago. The median wage is actually lower now than in the early 1970s, and the poverty rate in 2005 was higher than in 1969. So why have the benefits of productivity growth been distributed so unevenly? One reason is that unions have been steadily declining in membership. In Europe, labor laws extend collective bargaining settlements to non-unionized firms. Because wage agreements in America only apply to firms where workers are unionized, American managers have discouraged unionization drives more aggressively. In addition, globalization and immigration have placed growing competitive pressure on American workers. And boards of directors appointed by CEOs have raised executive pay to astronomical levels. Freeman addresses these problems with a variety of proposals designed to maintain the vigor of the U.S. economy while spreading more of its benefits to working Americans. To maintain America’s global competitive edge, Freeman calls for increased R&D spending and financial incentives for students pursuing graduate studies in science and engineering. To improve corporate governance, he advocates licensing individuals who serve on corporate boards. Freeman also makes the case for fostering worker associations outside of the confines of traditional unions and for establishing a federal agency to promote profit-sharing and employee ownership. Assessing the performance of the U.S. job market in light of other developed countries’ recent history highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the free market model. Written with authoritative knowledge and incisive wit, America Works provides a compelling plan for how we can make markets work better for all Americans.Read More